July 2019

Inclusion Solutions

What we did

We worked with the City of Armadale in Western Australia to deliver the Club Abilities Project from March 2017 to March 2018.

For this project, we used sport and recreation as part of our broader mission to combat social isolation. The project combined five elements to address community needs at a holistic, innovative and practical level. These five elements included:

  1. delivering five training sessions assisting to develop inclusive, welcoming club environments
  2. co-designing the project with community members and local clubs who made decisions based on local knowledge and experience
  3. delivering personalised club mentoring to 20 community groups and sports clubs
  4. building a network of local representatives committed to ongoing inclusion within Armadale
  5. hosting a large-scale community event to celebrate club successes and promote ongoing civic participation among community members.

Why we did it

Our mission is to combat social isolation by partnering with local government authorities to identify and deliver dynamic, inclusive and sustainable community projects.

One focus of our work in Western Australia is sport and recreation. With more than half of Australia’s population (1.25 million West Australians) having experienced or currently experiencing loneliness, accessible sport and recreation is an important vehicle to help break down barriers to loneliness, particularly for those from marginalised and low-participation backgrounds.

Located in Perth’s rapidly developing south-east corridor, the Armadale community is known as one of Western Australia’s most diverse and fragmented communities.

Prior to our involvement, sport and recreation programs were often short-term, one-off options and local residents were being turned away from existing clubs and community groups.

Many local clubs and community groups recognised that they needed additional knowledge and skills to be more inclusive of the changing demographics within Armadale. The City of Armadale called on us to help address the many identified barriers.

How we know it worked

We put in place a number of qualitative and quantitative evaluation tools to monitor and measure success.

Quantitative measures included:

  • tracking participant numbers at training mentoring sessions
  • numbers of new club memberships
  • numbers of new volunteers
  • identify the economic impact of increased membership/volunteering
  • tracking club satisfaction through surveys (pre and post-delivery)
  • levels of media interest and engagement
  • participant numbers at community events and on the local network.

Qualitative measures included:

  • interviews with participants, volunteers, new club members
  • anecdotal feedback

Our evaluation showed the following results:

  • training: 5 x workshops (121 attendees)
  • mentoring: 20 x clubs/groups completed the mentoring (224 members benefiting)
  • local reference group: 19 community members participated throughout project
  • community event: estimated 800+ people in attendance
  • coaches, volunteers indicated significant improvements in skill and knowledge
  • estimated 80 new volunteers and 300+ new club members
  • economic impact estimated at $150,000 to local community (ROI of in excess of 3:1)

In addition, we were able to develop case studies, infographics for clubs and detailed reports that could be showcased across local and state government.
Through this project, sport and recreation have been used bring together a community that has experienced rapid demographic and cultural change over the past decade.

While the outcomes for individuals and clubs are immense, the project will continue to positively impact the Armadale community into the future as clubs, community groups and individuals have new-found knowledge/confidence, are far more able to include people from low-participation backgrounds and Armadale City also has the confidence to recommend the 20 clubs and community groups to all residents.

Web: http://inclusionsolutions.org.au